Danboard

/g/ Mechanical Keyboard FAQs

Dec 31st, 2014
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  1. /g/ Mechanical Keyboard FAQs:
  2.  
  3. 1) What keyboard do I buy?
  4. - See the buyer's guide
  5.  
  6. 2) ABS? PBT? POM? What are these?
  7. - These are different types of plastics that are used to make the keyboard cases and key caps
  8. - ABS is the cheapest of the 3 and will lead to key cap shine after a few months of use, has a smooth texture
  9. - PBT is arguably the best material for key caps since they will resist shine and have a fine grain texture
  10. - POM is typically only used to special cases such as higher quality key caps with transparent legends for back lights
  11.  
  12. 3) Where do I buy mechanical keyboards?
  13. - See the /g/ sellers list: http://pastebin.com/8Yku80VL
  14.  
  15. 4) What is the difference between keycap brands?
  16. GMK
  17. - Highly regarded among keyboard hobbyists
  18. - High quality thick ABS
  19. - Large range of keycap molds
  20. - Cherry profile
  21. - $80 - $120 Price range on average
  22.  
  23. BSP
  24. - High quality thick PBT
  25. - Limited keycap molds
  26. - Cherry profile
  27. - $90 - $120 Price range on average
  28.  
  29. Gateron
  30. - Relatively new company
  31. - High quality thick PBT (about 0.5 mm thinner than BSP)
  32. - Large range of keycap molds
  33. - Cherry profile
  34. - $50 - $80 Price range on average
  35.  
  36. Vortex
  37. - One of the only companies to offer double-shot PBT
  38. - Average quality with keycaps ranging from thin to thick PBT depending on the series
  39. - Average range of keycap molds
  40. - OEM and Cherry profiles
  41. - $30 - $70 Price range on average
  42.  
  43. Signature Plastics
  44. - Average quality medium thickness PBT and ABS
  45. - Large range of keycap molds
  46. - DSA, DCS, SA, LP, KT profiles
  47. - $70 - $120 Price range on average
  48.  
  49. Tai-Hao
  50. - Low quality thin PBT and ABS
  51. - Limited range of keycap molds
  52. - OEM profile
  53. - $20 - $50 Price range on average
  54.  
  55. 5) Cherry vs Kailh vs Gateron vs etc? Does it really matter?
  56. Cherry
  57. - Cherry MX switches are the most widely available mechanical keyboard switch
  58. - The original mechanical switches with this design
  59. - They are reliable and have withstood the test of time
  60.  
  61. Clones
  62. - Kailh switches are based on Cherry's design and are cheaper in cost
  63. - In a blind test, most people would not be able to tell the difference between Cherry and Kailh switches
  64. - Cherry switches use a higher quality plastic for the stems, this means that they're less prone to snapping
  65. - Cherry MX key caps DO fit on Kailh switches
  66.  
  67. - Gateron switches are considered the best clones available due to their smooth linear switches
  68. - Many people consider Gateron's linear switches to be better than Cherry's offerings
  69.  
  70. 6) I bought this key cap set and it is shaped differently than my original set!
  71. - Key caps come in variety of different profiles, most stock keyboards come with OEM profile keycaps
  72. - Other profiles are: Cherry, DSA, SA, SS, DSS, LP, KT
  73. - Make sure you know what profile you are buying if you plan on mixing and matching sets
  74.  
  75. 7) Why does it seem like /g/ hates Razer and Corsair mechanical keyboards?
  76. - Razer has changed from Cherry switches to Kailh switches without reducing the price of their products
  77. - While using Kailh switches isn't inherently terrible, Razer have switched purely to increase their profits
  78.  
  79. - Corsair mechanical keyboards have a certain aesthetic to them which attracts a specific demographic
  80. - Corsair boards use a non-standard layout for the 5th row. This makes buying after market keycap sets difficult
  81. - There have been reports of quickly dying LEDs on certain Corsair models
  82. - RGB versions of this keyboard have had numerous issues with drivers and flickering
  83.  
  84. 8) What are the differences between all the types of switches?
  85. - You can find a detailed description of the most common switches here: http://i.imgur.com/p86x8kS.gif
  86.  
  87. Want even more information? Try http://www.overclock.net/t/491752/official-mechanical-keyboard-guide
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